best bar exam prep

Best Bar Exam Prep for 2022

By Carson King
Updated: September 24, 2021

The February 2022 bar exam is coming up. Many have begun shopping for bar prep courses. Which bar review course is best? There are like a gazillion nowadays. Well, I have torn up the internet to get you a decent answer. Let’s quickly introduce some key candidates, and compare the pros and cons for each! 

  • Crushendo 
  • Kaplan
  • Barbri 
  • Themis
  • Barmax

Crushendo: For students who love audio

As a man of many hobbies, I’m constantly trying to maximize my time . . . 

. . . and this is why I love Crushendo. The entire course is in audio format. Few bar preps have this. Plus, Crushendo is legendary for its hundreds of mnemonics and animations. The sheer freedom granted to a student with audio lessons and some good headphones is mind-blowing. As a man who fiercely defends the benefits of multi-tasking, Crushendo is for me. Maybe it’s for you too? 


  • Listen via audio 
  • Lifetime guarantee 
  • Great value ($970) 
  • Outstanding customer support
  • Offers cheap flashcards and mnemonics 


  • No app (however content is mobile-friendly) 
  • No textbooks

Kaplan: For students who love practice questions

With over 70 years of history, and a full range of courses, it’s an oldie and a goodie! With quality prep books and the most practice questions on the market, it is ideal for students who can bunker-and-hunker down. 


  • Over 4000 MBE questions 
  • App
  • Stats on state-specific exams 
  • Live classes
  • On-demand lectures 
  • Prep books 
  • Pass or get money back


  • Pricey ($2200 – $4000)  
  • Overwhelming workload 
  • Not available in all states 

Barbri: For students who like prep books 

Barbri is the “big-papa” of bar prep. A safe bet for those with some extra cash, their course is extensive and their textbooks are legendary. Barbri has long been popular with students for decades.


  • Comprehensive guides
  • Customized online features 
  • App
  • Available in all states 
  • Printed textbooks/materials 


  • Pricey ($3895)
  • No money back guarantee 

Themis: for students who love calendars 

While Themis is the “new kid” on the block, they’ve managed to set themselves apart with some outstanding tools. Known for their incredible calendars, fair pricing, and large amount of available statistics, they certainly have a chance to get inside your wallet! 


  • Adaptable study calendars (if you miss a day, it redistributes work across the calendar!) 
  • Good textbooks available 
  • Fair price ($1295 – $1695) 
  • Working app 


  • Not available in all states 
  • No online classrooms 
  • Not as much “structure” as some students may need

Barmax: For students who love a good app

Best known for their outstanding app and nice pricing, Barmax is great for self-motivated students! What they lack in prep books and videos, they make up with sleek outlines, mnemonics, and flashcards. 


  • Excellent outlines 
  • Audio lecture 
  • Affordable 
  • Flashcards after each lecture
  • Top-notch app (everything available) 
  • Personalized essay feedback 
  • Nice price ($999 – $1899)


  • No live classes 
  • No prep books
  • No videos 


In the end, all that matters is that you’re committed to passing the bar exam! Truthfully, you could probably pass the exam with any of these courses. They’re each amazing in their own way, so don’t overthink it! Simply determine your own needs, and follow your heart. Good luck! 

Comparison graph: 

Price Audio Flashcards Video Prep Books App Lifetime Access
Crushendo $970 Yes Yes No No Yes
Kaplan $2200 ? Yes Yes Yes ?
Barbri $3895 ? Yes Yes Yes ?
Themis $1695 ? Yes Yes Yes ?
Barmax $1899 ? No No Yes ?
Carson King law school blogger for Crushendo

About the author

Carson King is a content writer, author, and globetrotter. He’s volunteered internationally through various organizations and written for numerous corporations. When he’s not writing or reading, you can find him with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate.